Brig O’Turk is a small rural village situated between Callander / Loch Vanachar and Loch Achray (Duke’s Pass) in the Trossachs National Park; it offers a gateway into a relatively easy walking route around Glen Finglas Reservoir.
How to Get There
The easiest option to get to Glen Finglas Reservoir is by car, parking in Brig O’Turk where the walking route starts. If you’re coming from the West, you would drive along the A821 through the Duke’s Pass and around Loch Achray. Brig O’Turk will be on your left hand side.
If you’re coming from the East side, go through Callander and merge on the A821, driving along with Loch Venachar on your right hand side. Brig O’Turk will be on your right hand side.
It is possible to walk to Brig O’Turk and the reservoir if you are staying over in Callander (6 miles) but the route up the East bank of Glen Finglas is approximately 4.5 miles in total (calculated roughly from Garmin watch) so please take your walk back into consideration!
This cute sleepy village is a great little find as it hasn’t become too commercialised yet offers everything a passing visitor would need. It’s Scottish charm is in its rural setting and quaint little tea room that lies on the edge of the village – you won’t miss it as you drive in. why not grab a bowl of homemade soup with crusty bread as a reward for your walk?
There are parking facilities to your right as you drive in, but if you follow the road to the left towards Glen Finglas, there are also around 6 spaces at the mouth of the walking trail. If you follow the road around to the left, it will narrow significantly and you will pass the local houses, church and primary school.
Glen Finglas Reservoir & The Walking Trail
After following the narrow road (whether walking or with the car), the start of the trail is clearly sign posted on your right hand side. Don’t continue following the narrow road.
The wide gravel path winds up a steep hill until we come to a quick resting area with a bench and spectacular views of the reservoir. A great opportunity to get those thighs and calves working! Stop here to catch your breath after the steep incline and to take breathtaking photos of the scenery and water below.
As you begin walking again the path remains wide and gravely, but continues on a winding route. It takes short dips and minimal inclines with a couple of large farm gates interrupting the route. There are sheep roaming freely so it’s important to keep the gates closed over. Remember the follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and respect the environment and others.
Soon you’ll come to another great stop to grab lunch – the compass and the tree trunk. This sounds like an episode from the old TV show LOST but no, there is a compass embossed into the ground beside a noticeable trunk adjacent to the path. We sat here eating our sandwiches and drinking our water. Cookie anyone?
As you continue your walk, you will see that the path diverges to the right towards Balquhidder and the official Mell Trail. The Mell Trail is a hill walk that peaks at 600m, and since we were out on a family leisurely walk, we decided to continue following the wider path along the bank of the reservoir.
The path continues on and narrows down but we decided to turn back as the reservoir ended. We had walked 4.5 miles already and the sun was beginning to go down so time to head back. Next time I think I’ll get my proper walking shoes on and try out the Mell Trail.
You can find more information about Glen Finglas here.
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